Aside from the fact that my roommate spent hours baking Valentine’s Day goodies last night, there are many things I love about this holiday. The love in the air, the cheery hearts and the lovely colors all make me happy — and I’ll be the first to admit that I miss decorating those paper bags in grade school to collect Valentines.
Thankfully, this gorgeous red extravaganza blows all those missed princess and superhero Valentines out of the water. I’d take Blair + Luke’s calligraphy-adorned invitations and fluffy white blooms any day. (Fun Southern fact: the flower arrangements were all done by family and friends Blair had grown up with.) We’re so grateful that B’s dad insisted on installing the black and white checkerboard floor at the reception — what a sight! I think you’ll agree with me when I say that with the addition of the bold flooring, the red-piped tent lining, coconut-covered cake and cheery confetti, this wedding is Valentine’s Day perfection.
A huge Valentine’s Day hug to Adam Barnes for sharing this beauty with us! And speaking of sharing, Blair and Luke’s wedding was just too good to keep to ourselves: go visit our friend Summer to see even more photos from this wedding!
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. During the summer of 2008, I was living in Virginia and Luke was in Manhattan. I planned a trip to New York for a weekend to see my best friend from home and my dear friends from college — a real girl’s weekend that included a trip to the Hamptons. Saturday afternoon found us at Cyril’s and there I saw him – tall and handsome. Although we had gone to college an hour away from one another in Virginia, had both attended the Carolina Cup horse races for years in his South Carolina hometown, and had a zillion friends in common, it was not until then that we actually met one another. It was love at first sight.
Describe the proposal. Luke proposed on a Tuesday evening. Just us. It was the best surprise of my life and the reason that I now love Tuesdays the most. Later that evening, we met all of our friends at the Soho Grand Hotel to celebrate. They all knew and had been waiting for the announcement—it was such a dear surprise and one of the best memories.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Joyous, happy and bright.
In what month did you get married? October
How many guests attended your wedding? 350
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Seeing all of the people that mean the most to us in one spot.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? “Southern” in my mind is synonymous with generosity and kindness. Having 350 of our closest friends and family come from all over the country to my parent’s home to support our marriage exemplifies this Southern characteristic. Also, as many Southerners know, as nice as the décor and food might be at a reception, all of the guests are just waiting for the band to start. Our very Southern, soulful, INCREDIBLE band, Mo’Sol from Atlanta did not disappoint and the dance floor was packed all night.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I found my dress at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. As a girl who essentially only wears dresses, I knew that I was going to be in seventh heaven. Saks made the experience so incredible – dress after dress came out, but when I tried on the Oscar de la Renta number that I ultimately wore, we all knew it was the one. It was lovely, feminine and perfect for the venue.
Describe your wedding flowers: I came home from the day-of brunch to find that all of the flowers had been placed while I was out. Seeing them for the first time from my childhood bedroom window was a moment I will never forget. The ceremony flowers were all white so as to enhance and not detract from the yard in which we were getting married. The flowers in the reception tent were large sculptural arrangements with shocking red, fuchsia and ballet pink blooms. Although the flowers would stop you in your tracks with their beauty, the most touching part to me was that they were arranged by people I had known my entire life – from my former Sunday School teacher to a bridesmaid’s mother.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Made by the man who has baked every birthday cake that I can ever remember receiving, our cake was a seven-foot masterpiece of alternating chocolate and almond cake with fresh raspberries. The entire confection was covered with shaved coconut and sat atop a table completely covered in lush pink flowers.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Flooring for the tent. My sweet father made the call and decided that this must be done. When the temperature unexpectedly dropped 20 degrees and the rain started on Thursday and stopped on Saturday morning, we were all so happy to see that fabulous flooring.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Looking at Luke while we said our vows. The sun was shining through the russet and orange oak leaves and for those few moments, it was like everyone else disappeared and it was just us, making those promises to one another.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did have a first look and seeing Luke for the first time, just us, was perfect. I would recommend this to all brides — walking down the aisle is so exciting and there are so many people, flowers, sights, and sounds that I imagine you might not get to focus on your fiancé at the end of the aisle, which is why you are there in the first place.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Your wedding day is not about the flowers, the cake, or the dress. It is about you as a couple coming together and declaring yourself as a new family amongst this community that you have been a part of your whole life. Your vows are promises that you will better one another and the lives of all around you who are there that day. Rarely do you have a chance to assume such an amazing and wonderful responsibility. Enjoy it, mean it and make it last. Also, wear comfortable shoes.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are enjoying our life here in Manhattan looking forward to years of love and happiness.
Photographer: Adam Barnes // Videographer: Meet + Cute Films // Planner: Easton Events // Venue: Private residence // Florist: Rod Meek // Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Magnolia Foods // Caterer: Avenue Foods // Rentals: Skyline // Linens: Festive Fare and La Tavola // Lighting: Skyline // Paper Products: Rock Paper Scissors // Calligraphy: Kendall Rose // Bride’s Dress: Oscar de la Renta // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Veil by Oscar de la Renta and jewelry by Kiss the Ring New York // Bride’s Shoes: Valentino // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Ciarla // Furniture: Avista // Band: Mo’Sol // Chairs and stools: AFR // Vintage car: Albemarle Vintage
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